Archive for flowers

Pastel Paradise

Posted in gardening with tags , , on May 10, 2012 by planthoarder

Pastels and primary colors aren’t meant for each other. I like to think My Love and I are, but then he questioned why my flowers are so darn pink. I’m not a pink person (not that there’s anything wrong with that). My kitchen is a shade of green, my dining room a shade of orange.  The clothes I wear are either earth or jewel tones. How did my garden get so pink? I blame my zone.  Take windflowers, I have Anemone sylvestris, a lovely little white for the spring, and hardy as can be. My Love bought A. coronaria in red red and blue blue. Sadly, even with mulch I’d have to be in zone 7 to hope to overwinter it.

My camassia is barely blue, as is my wild sweet william, Phlox divaricata. Would I like to grow Meconopsis? Absolutely, but my continental climate is too extreme for it. There are few true blue flowers to be had in any climate. My old-fashioned iris is a pale blue with transparent petals and a grape soda scent. Soon there will be Siberian iris in a bluer shade, maybe not with the intensity of the aforementioned anemone, but definitely blue.  Should we get a Heavenly Blue morning glory or Crystal Fountain clematis? Too pale for My Love. In time we’ll have Japanese balloon flowers. Now those are a blue he can approve of.

Peonies are hardy here, and I even have a couple true reds and yellows, but the shades of pink to white outnumber them by far. White can stand with the pastels and the primaries, making us very fortunate so many flowers come in white. “Hold on a second,” I hear you interject, “what about all the red tulips and yellow daffodils?” You caught me. Yes, I love those, too, but they just can’t share the same bed. My Love may feel overwhelmed by spring’s pastel haze, but by summer there will be beds of red and yellow daylilies, and come fall golden yellow rudbeckia and leaves ablaze everywhere you turn.

In this instant, just in this tender spring when everything is fresh and new, leave me a moment to savor my pastel paradise.

Posy Paparazzi

Posted in gardening with tags , , , on April 3, 2012 by planthoarder

One of the best things about blogging is the opportunity to share the beauty of my flowers and yours. If only you could smell the fragrance of my mom’s mini iris, hiding behind the moss phlox, or see the swaying branches of our weeping cherry. If only I could taste those gorgeous heirloom tomatoes everyone keeps posting! All I can share with you is a few photos, a few sentences. and a love of plants. Someday I should read a book about floral photography since right now I just take a picture of anything that catches my eye. Given that it’s spring, nearly everything does!

Whenever I photograph a flower, I find myself laying in the dirt. The only “bird’s eye view” that interests me is that of a robin looking for worms. Is it my fault all the good stuff is springing out of the ground? Walking around the garden like a miser searching for a lost coin, I’m happier than said miser when I find a pretty flower. Suddenly, I’m on my hands and knees looking for the best angle for my little plant portrait, admiring a blossom dressed in dew and sunlight and wishing I had a macro lens.

My family is frustrated that I can’t wear “nice” clothes, because I’m forever getting them full of dirt and twigs after rushing back into the shed or house for a shovel or my camera. My Love is doubly frustrated that I want to run out to the store with mud on my pants and coat. I don’t mean to embarrass him, really, but I’ll just get my clean clothes dirty when I get back, because, don’t you see, I just have to take another picture.

The Enduring Optimism of a Gardener

Posted in gardening with tags , , , , , , on March 28, 2012 by planthoarder

We can’t help it, can we?  Every spring someone should tie us to the mast so we don’t succumb to nature’s siren song, buying one more plant, one more seed packet offering something delicious for the eyes, nose, or taste buds. It doesn’t matter how hard it will be to find the time to prepare the bed, or a spot to squeeze our precious new flower. It doesn’t matter that last year the deer ate our strawberries, leaves and all, just as they were starting to ripen, or that the slugs turned pretty leaves to Swiss cheese. This year…ah, this year…

This year spring has come early, or maybe it’s summer. Should we try to plant lettuce, or will it bolt too soon? Should we simply wait until fall’s cooler temperatures for the plants we would normally plant in spring? Those warm days are being followed by frost warnings. The magnolia blooms are just daring Jack Frost to turn their pretty pink to brown. So far we’ve been lucky indeed.

The greenhouse has been open wide nearly every day since the brassica seedlings were put in, and some days they had to sit out in the shade, because the greenhouse was just too hot for the early vegetables. My father is wisely restraining himself from starting his tomato seedlings, but I finally succumbed. I even bought seed for a slightly longer season watermelon. I know, I know, an early start doesn’t mean winter won’t sneak up on us early as well, but to be a gardener is to be optimistic. How else could we believe that despite the hungry crowd waiting in the wings to take our place at the table, we’ll be the ones to reap what we’ve sown?

This year I’m finally trying to grow a dry bean I had given up on. It takes a longer season to mature than we have here, so hope has been hard to find. The seed is eight years old, quite geriatric for bean seed, but it won’t get better for waiting so this is the year. My expectations are low, but a germ of hope remains. What can I say? I’m a gardener.